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water, and in pursuit of their food, which is the squid of our coast.
Fifteen canoes form one party, each with three Indians, and one other canoe having a Russian and two Indians in it. The canoes are made of the skin of the Sea Lion, drawn over a light wooden frame; and swim literally on the surface of the water. No one can go in them but the Indians, except one Russian for each party, and he sits in the centre, for the purpose of keeping an account of the game killed, and putting it down to the credit of the fortunate individual.
The canoes are about fifteen feet long, quite narrow; each having three holes, in which the Indians sit and conceal themselves. They approach the otters very silently. The stillness of night pervades the little fleet in its approach to its intended sporting or sleeping prey. This approach is made in a circle continually decreasing, while the canoe having the Russian is on the outside. At the side of each Indian is a spear, his arrows and bow, and a small piece of wood, on which he makes a notch each time he kills an otter. When the circle has become sufficiently contracted, each Indian fires his arrow, on which is his name, and at a signal they all rush to pick up the dead otters. The Russian sits in his canoe with a book in his hand, in which he gives credit to each Indian for the otters he may have killed. This is determined in favour of that Indian whose arrow is found nearest the centre of the otter's ear.
Be there ever so many arrows contributing to the otter's death, only one Indian is credited for it, and that Indian is the one, whose arrow, with his name on it, as was before said, is found nearest the ear hole.
These accounts are kept with the most honourable accuracy. And on their return to the Russian settlement, the most successful Indians are much applauded by the governour, with a view to excite ambition, and they are all rewarded by receiving from the government stores, tobacco, rum, coarse cloathing, and other articles, for the supply of Indian wants, and for the gratification of Indian vanity; and these supplies and gratifications are furnished in proportion to the credit, on the Russian subaltern's book.
The governour receives one half of all the skins, as a compensation for the use of the canoes, and for the services of his subjects.
While on board the ship, they are all armed with a crease or dagger which they continually wear.
It would be easy for them to destroy the officers and crew and take possession of the ship. But this is prevented by always taking a native woman of high rank, in the ship, to whom they are at all times obedient and submissive. She must be treated as her rank demands, with particular attention, and receives many presents. Besides, the Indians well know if they took possession of the ship, they would all be inevitably lost from their ignorance of navigation, and utter inability of managing a large vessel. They are fed while on board with whale oil and berries, which are put up into casks previous to their leaving Norfolk Sound, as a Sea Stock for the Passage.
The American settlement is on the banks of the Columbia, about ten degrees south of the Russians. In the year
a conveyance was made, by the natives, of a large tract of this country to Captains Kendrick and Gray of Boston, and the deed is supposed to be in possession of some merchant who was interested in that expedition. Α. few weeks since, some Americans from New York, under those calling themselves the North West American fur company, of which Jno. Jacob Astor is the President, planted themselves here; having some connexion with the English North West Company in Canada. After Captain Porter in the Essex had destroyed the English South Sea Whalers, and broken up their fishery, the Essex, as we all know, was, after a very severe action, captured by the British. Then the Cherub and Racoon sloops of war were despatched to capture the Americans at the Sandwich Islands, and destroy their trade both there and at the Columbia river. But the Americans received over land information of the expedition, through the medium of the English Fur Company stationed about half way from the western and eastern sides of the continent; and here it may be remarked, that the English have trading log houses established all the way from Canada across the continent to the head of the Columbia river; so that they were enabled to give the information before the British vessels arrived. The English traders represented themselves as being out of provisions, and proposed, that the Americans should sell them their provisions and furs on hand, break up the settlement peaceably, and receive bills on Canada in payment. To
these terms the Americans agreed. When the Cherub and Racoon arrived, they found their expected game had escaped. And they expressed much disappointment that their expedition, in this particular, should have been rendered abortive, especially as very glowing and highly coloured pictures of the wealth of the settlement and the great amount of prize-money they should obtain, had been constantly presented to their view by those who ordered the expedition. The natives about Columbia river, on having the conveyance made known to them, expressed their dislike of the transaction, and wished to join the Americans in resisting the English by force, should they come. It was impossible for them not to suppose the English a superiour order of men, when they saw the Americans resorting to measures, by which they might secure their property without fighting. But the Americans did secure their property by the Canada bills, and the British obtained no spoils.
It is evident that the north west trade, and the settlements of the Americans and Russians in that quarter, have excited the attention of the English. In a late Quarterly Review, there is an article, containing many remarks apparently of much more import than the ordinary speculations of a periodical paper. ‘Among other things it is remarked, that the Russians having extensive settlements on the eastern coast of Asia and on the western coast of America, by adopting a course of policy, different from that they have pursued respecting Kamskcatka, might, for a time at least, secure to herself the complete command of the trade of the north west coast of America and all its fisheries, and with proper management soon obtain the monopoly of the fur trade to the China market. And it is added, after a long course of reasoning, tending to produce a clashing of interest between us and the Russians, “ that the increasing scarcity of peltry, cannot fail to produce a collision of interests between England, Russia, and the United States, which will at some time or other probably terminate in war.”
The settlement of Count Berrenoff is at times visited by the publick ships of Russia, having with them officers of great experience and inforination. They are always accompanied by a large number of young men of noble families, in the capacity of midshipmen, and in other minor situations. These young men are without exception, of the first education. Vol. II. No. 6.
There is a continual communication kept up between Analaska on the western side of America, and Petersburg in Russia. The rout is from Norfolk Sound, or Mount Edgecumbe, across the water and up the Shotka sea, seven hundred miles to Shotska. From Shotska by land to Jeerjuskha: about six hundred and fifty miles from Jeerjuskha, they go up the river Lena fifteen hundred miles in boats, in a calm they pole the vessel, in a breeze sail, until they arrive at Cartzeu. From Cartzeu they go by land in a coach conveyance to Erskoutsa, about one hundred and seventy miles. Erskoutsa is a large place having about nine hundred houses. From Erskoutsa they proceed in a carriage to Toinpsk about eight hundred miles. From Tompsk they proceed to Tobolskow about fifteen hundred Russian miles, (longer than our miles.) From Tobolskow in the same convevance to Tuimen, about one hundred and sixty miles. From Tuimen to Casan about nine hundred miles. Casan is a large city, baving fifteen thousand houses. From Casan to Moscow three hundred and sixty miles ; from Moscow to St. Petersburg four hundred and eighty miles, it being altogether about six thousand five hundred and twenty miles.
TO THE EDITOR. SIR,
From a number of the publication of the society for the encouragement of National Industry in Paris, which is at the Atheneum, we have translated the following account of a' most useful improvement in the common foot stove ; such stoves are much used among us in our houses, and in travelling. This improvement makes it much more safe, agreeable, and economical; and its advantages in a nursery or a sick chamber, at times when a fire is not wanted, would alone make it valuable. The construction appears simple, but if one could be imported from Paris, it might be more easily imitated. We think it would be worth the attention of some of our manufacturers in this line.
Madame Augustine Chambon de Montaux presented to the society for the encouragement of the economical arts, at the publick sitting of the 10th of May last, economical foot stoves, which she has named augustines, and for which she has taken a patent.
Madame Chambon, who made use of stoves containing a cup filled with ashes and burning coals, like many other women, to whom this little piece of furniture has becoine necessary, found that they only answered one useful purpose, that of warming the feet, and that they had many defects, some of which she has detailed in a publick notice, printed in January, 1815.
The principal inconvenience of ordinary stoves, is the necessity of often replenishing the fire, of sometimes exhaling unhealthy vapours or disagreeable odours, by means of the charcoal or substances sticking to the shoes, which fall through the superior openings on the fire ; of the danger of fire from them, when they shut badly; and of being far from economical, from the necessity of keeping up the fire, which is partly wasted each time that the stove is emptied, to replenish it, according to the common practice.
These inconvenienccs have induced many persons to make use of boxes lined with tile, in which a piece of cast iron strongly heated is placed; others to obviate the vembarrassment of renewing ihe fire einploy, particularly in travelling, bottles filled with boiling water, or bags filled with hot sand; but all these contrivances do not answer the purpose of economy, which ought to be the object, since a fire is necessary to heat the iron, the sand, or the water.
The stove of Madame Chambon partakes of none of these defects ; it is composed of a lamp and a reservoir for heat placed above it ; it has the advantages of being easily prepared, heated, and of maintaining an equal heat which lasts a long time, of not being expensive, and of serving many other purposes than that of warming the feet; and of being as easily made use of by men as by women.
The form of the augustine is nearly the same as that of the stoves; they may be easily decorated, having no holes on the top as in the conmon stoves. They may be covered with carpeting fixed on the frame, decorated with fringe, and imitating a common footstool of our parlours.
For the use of men, they may have a pulpit form; they may be easily placed under a desk, to keep the feet warm, without the faine of the lamp, or any odour being perceived.
The lamp fed with s..ch oil as is used for Argand lamps, or what is better, with oil from the marrow of beef, is enclosed within three boxes of tin. The first serves to contain the oil and the wick; the second is destined to receive the oil that may be thrown out by any violent motion : it is fixed